News and events

Isabel Donnelly

Isabel Donnelly

Dean & Director of Business Development and Partnerships (International & UK)

College of Culture and the Creative Industries

Adelphi Building, AB31

+44 (0) 1772 89 3123

Subject Areas: Languages and International Studies; Education

Isabel is the Dean & Director of Business Development and Partnerships for the College of Culture and the Creative Industries. With a background in teaching overseas Isabel has developed expertise in the support of international education and international students, winning a national award for this in 2006. Her research interests range from classroom-based discourse to the development from novice-expert. Isabel is driven by her view of Education as a way of instigating positive change for individuals and communities.

Full Profile

Isabel has over 25 years of experience in teaching, starting out as a volunteer teacher while completing her A Levels. While undertaking a degree in Media Studies & Spanish and Liverpool JMU she spent a life changing year in Seville, Spain, qualifying as a language teacher and settling in the city for seven years. From there she lived and worked as a teacher and teacher trainer in Italy, Switzerland, New Zealand finally returning to the UK to take up a contract with Hugh Baird, FE College in Liverpool to teach and support Asylum Seekers from Iraq. Deciding to remain in the UK Isabel took up a post at UCLan in 2002 as an Associate Lecturer in EFL; she was promoted the year after to co-ordinate the English language provision in UCLan’s transnational education network and won a THES national Award for this work in 2006. Promoted to Principal Lecturer in English Language Teaching, Isabel was part of the original TESOL undergraduate and postgraduate team helping to grow this provision to one of the School’s largest programmes which later gained accreditation from Trinity College London.

In 2010 Isabel moved into management as Associate Dean of Education & Social Science, taking on lead roles in the strategic development of the student experience, knowledge transfer recruitment and marketing. She returned to her academic home of the School of Language, Literature and International Studies in 2012 on appointment as Dean. Within this school Isabel was instrumental in developing Korean Studies at UCLan and growing the UCLan modern language provision at a time when most providers were experiencing difficulties in recruitment. Within her time as Dean the school opened the International Institute for Korean Studies, The Institute for Black Atlantic Research and the Language Academy@UCLan; the school also enjoyed successes in the REF, NSS and was shortlisted for School of the Year in 2015.

Within UCLan, Isabel holds positions on strategic groups relating to her international work and the student experience and is a Company Director for BSL Ltd. She is also a member, by invitation, of the Institute of Directors.



2003: OPEN UNIVERSITY, UK, Masters in Education (Applied Linguistics)

1997: LIVERPOOL JOHN MOORES UNIVERSITY, UK, BA (Hons) Spanish with Media & Cultural Studies

1996: RSA Cert TEFL, International House, Seville, Spain



Research Projects

I Donnelly; (2008) Using a Research informed Teaching Approach; case study in IMPACT, UCLan

I Donnelly & L Barnes; (2010) BASE On-line English Language Course for Deaf Learners (output as part of an EU bid)

I Donnelly & L Barnes; (2011) Teaching Toolkit for Deaf Peer Educators, Ishara Press


The Niche of Expertise, PGR student conference, Lancaster, 2005

Modified Discourse in the Classroom, PGR student conference, Lancaster, 2007

Showcasing the UCLan Language Support Programme, ASIA/UKOSA, 2007

Intercultural Communication Issues for International Business, UKTi event, 2012

The Digital Shift, Hanyang Cyber University, Seoul, South Korea 2012

External Roles

Through her work on internationalisation, community engagement and knowledge transfer Isabel has worked with a diverse range of businesses and is keen to explore further links with communities, organisations and businesses who are interested in collaborating with the College of Culture and the Creative Industries.